1. Bear the Gospel

    February 13, 2024 by Jeremiah Dennis

    Bear the Gospel

    Let’s talk about living a life that matters.

    About exploding beyond the humdrum of daily existence and living a life that reverberates throughout the centuries.

    Interested?

    Then let me encourage you to embrace one simple, critical conviction: As a believer, you must bear the Gospel; that is, you are called to participate in God’s global mission to glorify the Son through the purposeful proclamation of the Gospel to every tribe, tongue, nation and people.

    Charles Spurgeon once said, “If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.”[1]

    As a Christian, you’ve been summoned and selected, hand-picked by the King of everything, to courageously carry the good news of Jesus Christ to the very ends of the world. Two compelling reasons support this assertion.

    • The Lamb is Worthy of Worship
    • Global Glory Is God’s Goal

    The Lamb is Worthy of Worship

    The Lamb is worthy of worship.

    Consider the following scene in Revelation 5:8–9:

    When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased peoplefor God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation.’”

    What’s going on?

    This is nothing less than a heavenly worship service. The assembled creatures and elders observe the Lamb of God and spontaneously erupt in worship. And the purpose of their praise is simple: To exalt Jesus, who shed his infinitely precious blood so that he could purchase a people who would give God glory forever.

    Heaven grasps the unspeakable worthiness of Christ to receive eternal glory and honor.

    Do you?

    Are you living for Christ’s glory, or your own? You weren’t mean to live for career advancement, financial security, or familial bliss. In fact, you weren’t meant to live for you at all.

    You’ve been redeemed by the Lamb so that you would pursue the goals and glory of God. Quite simply, that the Son would be worshipped for the magnitude of his sacrifice and the perfection of his character, and that his fame would spread far and wide, touching people from every ethnicity, every language, every culture, and every race.

    The Lamb is worthy of worship.

    Global Glory is God’s Goal

    Filling the world with God-worshippers has always been God’s game plan.

    From Genesis to Revelation, the pages of Scripture drip with God’s missionary fervor for his own global glory.

    Consider the following passages of Scripture (Italics added for emphasis):

    Genesis 12:1–3 – “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

    Psalm 46:10 – “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

    Isaiah 49:6 – “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’”

    Malachi 1:11 – “For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure, for My name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord of Hosts.”

    Matthew 28:19–20 – “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    Acts 1:8 – “…you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    Romans 15:9–11 – “…Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, And I will sing praises to Your name.” Again he says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people.” And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, And let all the peoples praise Him.”

    Revelation 7:9–10 – “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”

    The testimony of Scripture is unmistakable: God’s goal is and has always been glorious, global worship.

    Now, if you’re wondering how you can be involved, let me offer three simple suggestions:

    Pray

    Pray that: 1) God would send more missionaries; 2) He would supply all their needs; 3) He would save people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation; and 4) Churches would grow strong and remain true to sound doctrine.

    Give

    Support missionaries financially. If need be, start small. Give $5 a month. Hold off on one Starbucks latte a month, and give that money to a faithful missionary that your church supports.

    Go

    This may mean moving to a foreign country and serving in a local church so that the Gospel may spread. Most likely, however, it will look like going on a short-term ministry trip and spending a week or two with your church, serving in a foreign country. These trips are life-changing and perspective-shifting, opening your eyes to the massive need for the Gospel across the world.

    You can live a life that matters. You can live a life whose impact echoes throughout time and eternity.

    Though I don’t know what God has in store for you, I can tell you this—He’s calling you to a courageous commitment to boldly embrace your role in God’s global plan to bring honor to his name, from your own neighborhood to the nations.

    [1] Charles Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit: Vol. 14 (Pilgrim Publications: Pasadena, TX, 1982), 220.


  2. Preach the Gospel

    January 11, 2024 by Jeremiah Dennis

    Preach the Gospel

     

    If you were to die tonight, where would you spend your eternity?

    That’s the ultimate question facing all of us.

    Hebrews 9:27 affirms the inescapable reality of death when it declares, “and inasmuch as it is appointed unto a man to die once, and after this comes judgment.” This means that if you’re a Christian—if  you know and believe the glorious truth that God is holy, man is sinful, Christ is Savior, and salvation comes only through repentance and faith—then you’re one of the most important people in the world.

    You hold in your hands the gospel key that unlocks the gates of heaven. The question is, what are you doing about it?

    Our world is headed to hell in a handbasket, drowning in sin, deception, and false religion. Our neighbors, coworkers, and family members desperately need to hear the life-giving news of the gospel; which makes you, dear Christian, one of the most important people in the world. And as I’m going to argue, it implies that gospel-proclamation ought to be your life’s work. Not your occupation, but your sacred involvement.

    Said differently, every Christian must preach the gospel, not occasionally, but as a lifestyle. And to be clear, when I say “preach” I don’t mean preach from a pulpit. I mean verbally declare that the wrath of God abides on sinners (John 3:36), and only through the atoning blood of Christ can they be forgiven and brought into a right relationship with Him. Three biblical realities drive the forgoing assertion. As a believer you ought to preach the gospel as a lifestyle pattern and practice because:

    1) The need is great.

    2) The gospel is essential.

    3) You are God’s method.

    The Need is Great

    Why should you embrace your personal responsibility to proclaim the gospel as a regular lifestyle pattern? Because the need is great. The fleeting nature of life highlights the greatness of the need.

    Isaiah 40:6 teaches that, “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it.” Flowers and grass are here today and gone tomorrow. That’s a picture of mankind.

    James uses a different analogy to stress the same point. In James 4:4, he writes, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

    Your life is like the smoke that rises up from a candle and disappears. Adding to the urgency of the need for gospel proclamation is the fact that sin is deadly. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…”

    And how many people have sinned? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). That’s universal condemnation. By the way, the death mentioned in Romans 6:23 isn’t mere physical death. No, it’s the eternal separation and unending agony awaiting all who those who don’t know Christ. In a word, it speaks of hell, a place of never-ending torment, where sinners are subjected to the infinite wrath of God, forever.

    Unsettling as the concept of hell is, the Bible plainly affirms its reality. Revelation 20:15 says, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

    In Mark 9:47-48, Jesus provides these sobering words:  “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

    The word for “hell” is Gehenna, which refers to a ravine south of Jerusalem that was a trash dump. The Jews burned the trash there, so the fires were always burning and the smoke always rising. That’s the picture of hell.

    So why should you proclaim the gospel as a lifestyle conviction?

    Because the need is great.

    The Gospel is Essential

    There’s a second reason to proclaim the Gospel: because it’s essential. The gospel is the exclusive path to paradise. Acts 4:12 says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

    In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus declares, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

    The road to heaven isn’t a superhighway. It’s a one-lane road. And yet, most people think the path to heaven is broad and easy. They imagine that all you have to do is be a good person, try hard, sprinkle a little religion into your life, and ask God for forgiveness once in a while.

    But the truth is dramatically different. The way is narrow and the standards are high. Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ are required.  So preach the gospel because there is no salvation without it.

    The Method is You

    Lastly, believers ought to preach the gospel as a lifestyle conviction, because they are God’s method for evangelizing the world. God could have written the gospel in the sky with fire. He could have sent an army of angels to preach the good news. But He didn’t.

    Instead, He entrusted believers like you with the greatest message ever told and instructed us to go far and wide, telling everyone about it. Did you know that as a believer, you’ve been personally recruited by the King of everything?

    That’s right. You’re an official representative of the King, armed with His message, empowered by His authority, and stamped with His approval. 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

    My friends, your mission is to go to a lost and dying world and beg and plead with lost sinners to turn from their sins and to believe in Christ.

    The great preacher Charles Spurgeon describes it this way, saying: “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay…If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”[1]

    That’s what it is to be an ambassador for Christ. That’s why you must preach the Gospel as a lifestyle conviction. Because the need is great, the gospel is essential, and you are God’s method.

    The question is, how are you going to respond?

    [1] Charles Haddon. Spurgeon. Sermons of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon of London (United States: Sheldon, Blakeman and Company, 1864), 333.